WACO, TX — The No. 21 Bears dropped a pitchers’ duel 2-0 to visiting Nebraska, breaking up the Huskers’ combined no-hit bid in the bottom of the ninth at Baylor Ballpark on Saturday evening.
The Bears (9-4) were no-hit through 8.2 innings until Davis Wendzel laced a single to right to break it up. That brought the game-tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth in the form of Davion Downey, but the Bears were unable to break through.
Husker starting pitcher Nate Fisher was in the groove today, throwing eight-complete innings of no-hit baseball. He was pulled after hitting the leadoff man Richard Cunningham in the bottom of the ninth. Reliever Robbie Palkert entered and got a 6-4-3 double play to put the Huskers (6-6) within one out of a combined no-hitter, but the next batter he faced, Wendzel, singled to break up the no-hit bid. The Huskers then brought in closer Colby Gomes who got Downey to fly out to right to end the game.
Baylor starter Paul Dickens was impressive in his first weekend start, throwing a career-high five innings while striking out a career-high seven batters. The lone run the redshirt junior gave up was on a sac fly in the fourth inning. He allowed five hits and walked just one batter on the day.
Designated hitter Ryan Bertelsman broke up Fisher’s perfect game in the bottom of the sixth inning as he drew a one-out walk. The Bears, down 1-0 at the time, had a chance to put something together in the inning as the next batter, Josh Bissonette, reached on a fielding error by the Huskers’ shortstop. With two on and one out, the Bears were unable to break through.
Offensively, the Bears also had the go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh inning after Downey was hit by the pitch with one out. The Bowling Green, Ky., native, then stole second to put the game-tying run at second, but a pop out and a ground out ended the inning.
Reliever Daniel Caruso entered in the sixth inning and pitched two scoreless innings, including pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to keep it a one-run game. He allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out three.
Caruso was followed by Ryan Leckich, who also threw two-complete innings, putting up a zero in the eighth before allowing one unearned run in the ninth, putting the score at 2-0, Huskers.
The bottom of the ninth started off promising for the Bears, as Cunningham was hit by the pitch and the Huskers went to their bullpen. After a double play left the Bears down to their last out, Wendzel came through with the first hit of the day and brought the game-tying run to the plate in Downey, but a flyout ended the game.
Despite a strong outing, Dickens took the loss to fall to 1-1 on the season, while Husker starter Fisher improved to 2-1 on the year. Closer Gomes earned his second save of the year.